The Golden Retriever in this video is captivated by guitar music. He even bops his head up and down to the rhythm. And he seems to be smiling too! When the player stops, that smile turns into what looks like a frown. It happens again and again.
How do dogs respond to music?
Can dogs hear music and appreciate music the way we do? Natalie Wolchover writes about this topic in Live Science. An animal psychologist in the University of Wisconsin-Madison discovers that animals enjoy “species-specific music.” We humans like music that is within our acoustic and vocal range, and similar to our heartbeats. You have heard of dogs being able to hear pitch humans can’t. If the pitch, tone, and tempo is familiar to that species, they might enjoy the music. And even among dogs, lthis would vary.
Large dogs such as Labradors and Mastiffs have a vocal range that’s similar to that of a human male. So it is very possible that they respond to music in human’s frequency range. That might explain why this Golden Retriever is bopping his head to the rhythm of the music. Small dogs like Chihuahua have a different vocal range. They may not respond to human music the way larger dogs do.
A couple of researchers cited in Natalie’s article experimented with composing music for monkeys and cats. More specifically, Tamarins. They have pitch 3 times higher than human octaves, and their heart rate is twice as fast as ours. If humans were to listen to that music, it would be extremely unpleasant. The Tamarins’ behavior changed according to the music played specifically for their species. They were agitated and active when music was played modeled to excited monkey tones and played at a fast tempo. They were calm and became unusually social when another song was played to a slower tempo and tones modeled to happy monkeys. Really interesting study. You can read the entire article here. Enjoy watching this Golden Retriever appreciating guitar music!
Article source: Natalie Wolchover in Live Science